Unfortunately I never had the chance to visit Feethams, so with the news that demolition was imminent, I decided to make the long journey north and combine a trip to it with a visit to Darlington's new ground, the 96.6 TFM Darlington Arena.

After arriving in the town, it didn’t take long to walk down to the ground from the station, and I was soon walking along the opposite bank of the River Skerne looking at the East Stand, which from a distance looked like it still could have been in use for a game the same day. On closer inspection this clearly wasn’t the case, and after crossing over the bridge, and going in through an open gate, it was a sad sight that greeted me.

The East Stand was in an awful condition with broken glass everywhere, along with smashed/missing seats and evidence of fires having been started with a number of the seats melted. Despite this, it was an impressive structure, towering over the rest of the ground, and looking relatively modern compared to its surroundings.

Opposite, with its wooden structure, it was a wonder that the West Stand hadn’t been burnt down either, with fires having been started there as well. This was a rather small stand, with seating raised above pitch level, and being centred on the halfway line, running for about half the length of the pitch.

At one end was a stand nicknamed the ‘Tin Shed’, which was a small covered terrace, where the home fans congregated once upon a time. Although there wasn’t much for the vandals to do damage to here, they had clearly had a go, with a number of the steps having been chipped away in places.

Completing the picture at Feethams, and probably the most intact stand was the South Terrace, which wasn’t in too bad a condition, although being uncovered it was a fair size, and must have looked impressive whilst full.

Bearing in mind that it had been less than three years since the ground was abandoned, it really was shocking to see it in such a state and quite understandable to know why Darlington fans now want it to be knocked down instead of left to deteriorate in such a way. One other surprise was how open it was, with the gates having been left open instead of locked, although that would obviously explain why it was in such a state, in some places it was dangerous, and certainly in the West Stand, after having gone in to take a couple of pics from there, I soon left after not feeling safe at all with the floor of the stand feeling like it would give way at any moment.

Looking around the ground, it is a shame that I never got a chance to see a game here, as it does seem a real, old style, traditional ground, but with it unlikely that Darlington will return here (despite initial rumours post Reynolds), it probably is best all round to see the ground finally demolished, instead of leaving it in its current state.

Turnstiles to the West Stand

Rear of the West Stand

Rear of the West Stand

Rear of the West Stand

The Club Shop

Rear of the East Stand

The South Terrace

The South Terrace

Looking across the South Terrace

The West Stand

The West Stand

The 'Tin Shed'

Looking across the Tin Shed

The Tin Shed

The East Stand

Damage to the East Stand

Evidence of fire in the East Stand

The East Stand

Feethams Panoramic


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